Just three days after playing Seaside to a 0-0 tie, Valley Catholic narrowly defeated Astoria 1-0 in a Cowapa League boys soccer game Thursday night in Beaverton.

Astoria coach Lee Cain said, “I'm very proud of the boys tonight. We knew that Valley Catholic would be very tough. There's no doubt they've earned the top spot in the league (or at least a share of the title with Seaside), although Tuesday's 0-0 game was impressive both ways.”

The Fishermen finish 3-5 in league (5-9 overall), and will open the playoffs next week.

Astoria's plan Thursday night “was to play extremely tight defensively, but counter attack when we had the opportunity,” Cain said. “The team carried that out exactly as planned.”

The lone Valley Catholic goal “was unlucky for us,” he said, “a hard shot down in the lower right, inches from the post, that Dylan (Altheide-Nielson) was forced to block. Unfortunately it bounced out two yards into a Valley Catholic follow up.”

Cain added, “Our best chance was when David Bermudez (who suffered a pulled hamstring just two days earlier in a loss at Tillamook) nearly scored with a hard 35-yard blast that just grazed the top bar.”

For the remainder of the game, “we held them scoreless, in a tremendous defensive effort both by the teamwork and by Dylan's incredible work in the box.”

Altheide-Nielson had 15 saves on the night.

“Dylan has been a tremendous asset for the team, all the more amazing in his first year ever,” Cain said.

In other Cowapa League action Thursday, Seaside defeated Tillamook 5-2 at Broadway Field. The Gulls can earn a share of the league title with a win next Tuesday at Banks and a Valley Catholic loss at Tillamook.

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